Big-spending former wrestling executive Linda McMahon was pinned again in her bid for a U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, losing on a night when sports and politics met in the same arena.
McMahon, a Republican who once ran World Wrestling Entertainment with blustery and better-known husband Vince McMahon, was beaten by Democrat Chris Murphy. She also lost in 2010 in a bid for the Senate. McMahon spent more than $42 million of her own wealth in the race for retiring independent Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat.
In another Senate race, the great-grandson of one of baseball’s most august figures lost his Senate race in Florida. Connie Mack IV, a Republican, is a descendant of Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack. He was beaten by Democrat Bill Nelson.
Murphy, a three-term congressman, made an issue of McMahon’s wrestling roots, dismissing the enterprise as a vulgar and violent spectacle that belittled women.
Mack has made much of his baseball heritage. On his web page, the “O’’ in his first name is replaced with a baseball. The congressman’s great-grandfather managed the Philadelphia Athletics for 50 years.
Mack, however, was not the only loser on the ballot with a strong baseball heritage. U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, of Kentucky, is the grandson of former baseball commissioner Happy Chandler. He was commissioner from 1945-51, a period when Jackie Robinson broke the game’s racial barrier when he joined the Dodgers. Ben Chandler lost to Republican Andy Barr.
Others with family ties on election night were two candidates with NFL connections: George Allen and Tom Rooney.
Allen had an early lead in his attempt to win a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia. He is the son of former Redskins coach George Allen. Rooney, a nephew of Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, easily won re-election to his U.S. Housel seat from Florida.